Abel Meeropol: the Hastings-on-Hudson Resident Who Wrote Time Magazine's 1999 Song of the Century

Did you know that one Westchester resident not only wrote the “song of the century,” but had an important connection to one of the century’s most famous trials?

First, the “song of the century”: That honor, as bestowed by Time magazine in 1999, belongs to the seminal “Strange Fruit,” a 1939 protest of racism and lynching, recorded by Billie Holiday. The song was composed by future Hastings-on-Hudson resident Abel Meeropol, an English teacher and social activist. Meeropol published the work when he lived in the Bronx but eventually moved to Westchester with his wife and their two adopted sons, Michael and Robert. Those boys? They were the sons of convicted Soviet spies Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, who were executed at Sing Sing in 1953.

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